The best kept secret in the music industry is that pop divas, like fine wines and British actors, only get better with age. So far this year we’ve seen Madonna score her eighth Billboard chart-topping album (however short-lived), Jennifer Lopez storm the iTunes chart with “Dance Again” and the re-emergence of Gwen Stefani as the voice of No Doubt. With new albums from Shania Twain, Cher and Kylie Minogue on the way, 2012 is shaping up to be the year when pop’s leading ladies prove that 40 really is the new 20.
To celebrate the phenomenon, we’ve put together a list of our top 15 timeless divas — women of a certain vintage who remain relevant, influential and important to music fans of all ages. For your favorite singer to qualify, she just had to be born prior to 1972, have an iconic career and still practice pop. Hence no Barbra Streisand or Reba McEntire. Rankings are based on chart stats, record sales, pop culture status and recent success. Let us know what you think in the comments.